Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You're Too Cute To Be A Boy! A Story.

As an only child, I often wished I had a brother or a sister. I envied friends who came from bigger families. I sometimes felt deprived and decided if I ever got married, I would have more than one child.

After I did marry I was soon the young mother of two boys, only eleven months apart. When Joey was almost four and Greg almost three, I was elated to learn that I was expecting a third child.

"I'm praying and hoping this baby will be a little sister that you guys can be big brothers to," I told the boys one day, as my pregnancy became more obvious.

One night, just before I tucked him in, Greg decided to help me in my petition for a girl.

"Dear God, Mom really wants a girl. Could you make sure that it is a girl? And I think it would be nice to have a sister. I hope you're listening, God," he prayed earnestly.

"I think a sister would be nice , too, God," Joey piped up from his corner of the room. "Besides, if it's another boy, this bedroom will get too crowded," he added.

I smiled as I tucked them in and kissed them good night. "Actually, another little brother would be a blessing, too" I added, just before turning off the lights, for it was true.

Andrea was born July 31, 1963, and she was an adorable little girl from day one. Her father and I were elated. Her big brothers stared at her with wonder and became her protectors from the day they first saw her. And as she grew, her big brothers were her idols, as were her three boy cousins. She wanted to be like them, dress like them, and play with Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels and any other boy-toys they played with. Her own toys remained untouched. Dolls were looked at with disdain, and she resisted wearing the cute dresses I bought her in favor of pants and T-shirts. Clearly, the cute little blond daughter I had prayed for was a big-time tomboy, through and through.

When she was almost three, I was determined my little tomboy was going to wear the cute Easter outfit and bonnet I had gotten her for Easter services. Her brothers, almost six and seven by this time, had handsome Easter suits to wear.

"I don't want to wear a dress and a bonnet" Andrea wailed, as I dressed her for church. "I want to wear a suit like Joey and Greg are wearing."

"You're a girl and will dress like a girl for church," I said firmly to my tearful, angelic looking tomboy.

"Well, when I grow up, then I'll be a boy," she retorted, tears rolling down her cheeks.

In the car on the way to church, Greg told Andrea, "God made you a girl, and it's too late to change his mind now, so you might as well get used to it."

"Yeah," Joey piped in. "Besides, you're too cute to be a boy. And we like you being a girl."

She smiled at Greg and Joey through her tears and stopped crying for a change. Her big brothers liked her being a girl!

Soon after that, I enrolled Andrea in dance school where she met other cute little girls. And at her very first recital, when she danced to "Alley Cat" and received a big hand and loud cheers from her brothers, who sat with us in the front row, her pride in being a girl was finally well established.

These days, Andrea is a mom to two beautiful girls and still the cherished sister of two big brothers, whose brotherly devotion is as strong as ever.

From "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Brothers and Sisters" copyright 2007.

I hope you enjoyed this little story. Thank you for reading. Have a blessed week, everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Shooting the Moon!

Last night, I braved the cold to try and shoot the moon! Well, I was trying to shoot pictures of the eclipse, of course! And I was braving the cold by standing at my open kitchen window. I wasn't brave enough to go outside and stand in my field though, to do it. The photos are not the best, but the best that I could muster, especially with the trees around here hampering my view, as you can plainly see. I was lucky to be able to shoot a few pictures before the clouds rolled in, bringing the sleet, snow and freezing rain with it, a little later. And if you watched the eclipse and took pictures of it, like my old friend Tina did, please let me know. Tina is an Astronomy Buff, and takes beautiful, professional looking pictures, unlike me. But I enjoyed shooting the moon!

I like the above picture because the moon looks like it's hung up on the tree branch!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

New Award--Thank You!

Patti at Nonna's News, and Karen at Karen's Korner have passed this nice award on and included me. I am honored to receive it, ladies. Thank you for thinking of me. You are both dear friends!
Since I believe that every Blog has a purpose, I would like to pass this award on to all my friends on my Blog Roll. Please take it, and enjoy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Beyond the Sadness-Life Goes on in the Woods!

The pond just before daylight!
Early this morning, as I sat at my laptop by the window, looking out on the pond, I decided to take a picture of it. Although it turned out too dark, you can see the water starting to get illuminated by almost rising sun, giving the pond a mysterious, enchanted look.

After sunrise, wild turkeys in the field!
Just a little later, but still quite early, I was pleased to see eleven wild turkeys in the field. Often, there are even more of them. Of course, the chopped corn I put out for them is why they were here. Not long ago I counted a flock of 25. I took this photo from the deck, since the wild turkeys, unlike the deer around here, are very wary, and take off quickly, if approached. But I always enjoy seeing them, even from the distance. Soon, the females will be nesting and sometimes in April, will bring their young ones to the pond, for their first drink!

And look what was hiding in the squirrel feeder, below?

Sunday morning, I was surprised to see this opossum taking refuge in the squirrel feeder, in the back. I am guessing from the looks of this possum, that it's a young female, and she obviously had an unpleasant encounter earlier. Her ear is a bit bloody. But she seemed fine otherwise, and later, when she felt she was safe, she came down and ambled off for her home in the woods. She was back, later that night, and I rewarded her with a hot dog! What can I say? I am incorrigible, when it comes to animals, but I am too old to change my ways now.

Beyond the sadness of the last few days, life goes on in the woods. And there is some solace in that.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Some Very Sad News!

I received word this morning from my dear writer friend, Anne Watkins, that her beloved Dad has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, on Wednesday. As you can imagine, Anne is heart-broken over this, and I am heart-broken for her. She said of her Dad:

"I'm going to miss him so much. We always talked about birds and
deer and fox, all the wildlife around here, as well as
our flowers and fruit trees. He totally knew
everything about trees, plants, flowers, fish, birds,
wildlife, dogs--anything that lived or breathed."

Please remember Anne and her family in your prayers.
Thank you, friends.

I love you, Anne, and pray that God comforts you and brings you His peace at this very sorrowful time in your life.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

(From a Headstone in Ireland)

New Awards and Gifts--Thank You!

I received several awards and gifts lately that I haven't had time to acknowlege until now. Thank you friends for passing on these cute and adorable and beautiful awards. I am most appreciative and thankful for them.

Thank you, Karen for the beautiful Friendship Banner!

Thank you, Karen for the Royal Banana Award!

Thank you, Karen, for the cute Toadally Awesome Award!

Thank you, Leann, for the lovely roses!

Thank you, Glo, for passing on the beautiful flower bouquet!

And last but not least, thank you, Mary, for the beautiful Friendship Award!

You are all wonderful bloggers and friends, and I am glad to have gotten to know you. Thank you again. Blessings and Love to all of you! I will post more on these in a few days.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lets Think Spring!

On a cold February day, when freezing rain and sleet pelted us, on and off, what could be better than thinking of spring? Especially, since I noticed that my jonquils are poking out of the ground, not discouraged by the frigid weather, like me. It won't be long before they look like the ones in the picture I took of them in the past.

Jonquils bring joy to mind.

“Delight yourself in the Lord,
And he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37

It's pure joy seeing them open their dainty clusters of golden blossoms, after their green shoots had been above ground for some time. And when they're finally blooming, can spring be far behind?

When I see the jonquils, I’m immediately reminded of Wordsworth’s poem about daffodils:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Those daffodils in Wordsworth’s poem, fluttering and dancing in the breeze are expressing joy! And although he called them daffodils, they were probably jonquils. Well, perhaps they were daffodils. But what's in a name?

Are jonquils daffodils? Or are daffodils a different flower? Well, both jonquils and daffodils are members of the Narcissus family. But the true jonquils (Narcissus jonquilla) have round, rush-like leaves and small, fragrant early blooming clusters of yellow blossoms. Daffodils, on the other hand, have large, normally yellow, single trumpet flowers. All jonquils are daffodils, but not all daffodils are jonquils!

Jonquils are the most fragrant of the Narcissus species. The cultivation of jonquils goes far back. Roman soldiers introduced the plant into England during the early years of the Christian era, while the Colonists introduced both the multiple-flowered jonquils and the single flowered daffodils to America. But Narcissus grows wild in southwestern Europe from Spain and Portugal up to France and Great Britain, over to Switzerland and Austria, and back down to Greece and Italy. And they are easy to grow. You just stick the bulbs in the ground, and they will come up in late winter, year after year after year. They seem to go on forever.

There is nothing more cheerful than the arrival of the early jonquils, growing like wildflowers, perfectly happy amidst the grass and weeds, or in the woods, bringing joy to the beholder who is lucky enough to see them dancing in the breeze! And if we think spring, we can see them dancing right now.

Jonquils inspire joy!

Ann (Ancient One) has a beautiful picture of some daffodils in her neighborhood that you might all enjoy seeing, to get into a joyful, spring mood.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A New Award, a Link of Love, and More!

I'm thankful today for this lovely Blessings Award passed on to me by my dear friend Merle over at at 3rd Time Lucky. Thank you very much, dear Merle. It's beautiful, and it reminds me to be thankful for all my blessings: Family, dear friends, my loving and cute pets , all the beauty of God's nature sorrounding me here, and so much more! And I am suppossed to pass this award on to three blogging friends who have been a blessing to me. That is hard, because all my blogging friends have been a blessing, and I would like to pass it on to everyone. But since the rules say I must pick three, here are the three I have chosen:

My old friend Tina at Tina's Odds and Ends. Tina and I have been friends for 9 years, more or less, and when we wrote for Suite 101, she was always a faithful visitor and commentor on my topic, and I never missed visiting her topic. I hope you enjoy this award, Tina!

I also want my lovely, young blogging friend Pia to have this award. I love to read Pia's blog. She has strong faith, uplifting messages, and is a blessing to her visitors. I hope you enjoy the award, Pia!

And the third friend I have chosen to give this award to today is Patti over at Nonna's News. I enjoy Patti's blog. Her love of family, and everyday doings is fun and inspiring. I hope you enjoy this award, Patti!

Finally, I also want to thank my friend Michele over at Writing the Cyber Highway for the "link of love!" How nice was that? Thank you, Michele. Whenever I need inspiration, or a little nudge in the writing department, which is often these days, I pop over to Writing the Cyber Highway. Michele, and all the young, enthusiastic writers that congregate there, never fail to inspire me, and get me off my duff! Thank you, Michele!

I also heard from Susan Reynolds, my editor at Adams Media for, My Teacher is My Hero, book. She said the book would be published in April/May, and we'll be getting our copies and checks at that time. WooHoo!

And, John Cali emailed me that the Dog Stories book has now been published and will be on its way to the contributing writers soon. Another WooHoo! Writers get excited about seeing their work published. And bloggers, like myself, get excited about receiving beautiful awards from blogging friends.

Well, I sure hope spell check works, because I have to get this published, and then scoot to feed the animals. Have a great evening, and week everyone!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Today is Super Tuesday 2008, which some have dubbed "national primary day." Voters in 24 states are heading to the polls. My state is one of the states that participates in Super Tuesday, and I'm heading to the polls soon.

When I was sworn in as a new citizen of my wonderful new country, the United States of America, I finally gained full membership in American society, and got the right to vote. And by pledging allegiance and loyalty to my new country, I became an American by choice. That was many years ago. But I still remember that day; it was one of the proudest days of my life. And since that day, I have never failed to exercise my right to vote. God bless the United States of America, where free people have a say in their governement!

Exercise your right to vote today. And have a wonderful day.

Super Tuesday turned into Super Scary Tuesday night, in my region, and many of the surrounding areas. We had a tornado warning around 8 PM, and my son called to tell me to get into the basement. Of course, I did. Lots of thunder, lightening and rain came at us, but the wind never got as fierce as last week. By 9 PM, the warning had been lifted, although some thunderstorms continued for some time. By the time I got into bed, things were improving. We didn't have any damage in our area, that I know of, but many folks in surrounding areas and states didn't fare as well, and my prayers are with all those people this morning. God bless them, as they deal with the tragedy of lost lives and damaged property!